As we're all in this state of social isolation due to Covid-19, my family, like other families have taken to video calls to stay connected to one another.
Let me tell you a little bit about my family.
I come from a family of strong, fierce, loving, and of course, opinionated women. We are all incredibly passionate people who always feel the urge to communicate our opinions on everything - especially with each other. It's why we're great together. With that amount of fierce love around you, you always feel supported.
Being the youngest of the family, I've grown up observing my mom and sisters and admiring them for their strength and loyalty. I've also had moments of intense frustration when I can never get a word in.
Here's what I find hilarious and fascinating.
When you're on a video call, and multiple people are trying to talk at once, you have no choice but to let one person speak. It's hilarious watching my family do this. There are so many moments where everyone talks at once and then, because it's a video call, no one can understand anything, so everyone goes..."oh..sorry..go ahead..", "no..you go ahead.." "uh ok, so as I was saying". And everyone but the speaker has to ACTUALLY sits back and listens to the speaker speak.
Who knew we all had such valid opinions? It will be really interesting to see if this newfound patience will translate into real-life when we go back to physically being around each other. We'll have to see. But for now, I'm enjoying watching the fierce women in my family sit back and listen to each other.
The entire world is in a global state of self-isolation due to Covid-19. We are all in an unprecedented time of regulated quarantine. No leaving your house unless it's essential, no visiting other households and everyone if being asked to work from home except for our frontline heros who are seriously amazing. I'm praying everyone around me remains healthy and we beat this global pandemic soon.
Regarding the self-isolation, the introvert in me is really enjoying the hibernation time. But there's a part of me that feels really anxious. I know myself and I know the anxiety is coming from a pressure to do something really profound during this solo time of self-isolation. I feel like I should be coming out of this a completely changed person? But anytime I start trying to create a 'how to be profound' plan (because that's how you start being profound right?), it never amounts to anything. And then tonight, I couldn't sleep. My eyes opened at 2am and they just wouldn't close again. I racked my brain for things I could do to make myself fall back asleep and then finally at 3:30am, I decided to just get up and do something I enjoy. So I've been writing for 3 hours and feel so relaxed and lifted.
It made me realize, the pressure of profound was real. So real it was stopping me from doing anything of any actual substance. So instead of coming up with a master plan during this time, I'm just focusing on the simplicity of life and being present. Like my dad says, look forward to the smallest things in life that bring you joy, because really, they're everything.
When we were little kids, we learned by doing. Imitation was key to our development. How many little girls get excited about trying on their moms heels and purses so that they can feel like a grown-up, just like their mothers? When we're in school, our teachers show us how to read and write by doing the actions for us first and then allowing us to imitate what they've done. Imitation has always been key to the human development.
When we learn by imitation, we're activating our 'mirror neurons'. These are the neurons in the brain that get fired up when our minds see someone else d oing something that we want to do. By watching them, we can imitate them, and by imitating them, we achieve the goal of doing the same action they're doing.
Now here's where it gets interesting.
Mirror neurons can also be used to counter what the person we're watching is doing. For example, suppose you're watching someone around you get very anxious and stressed. Innately, our brains want to copy them and communicate in an anxious and stressed way as well. However, we have the ability to do the exact opposite. In fact, when we respond to someone's stress with an insane level of calm, we actually obtain the power of controlling and calming the situation. Magic.
Think of it like this.
You know those days when you feel like you just look like crap? You just haven't slept well, your hairs not working out and you rushed out of the house without taking a proper look at your outfit and now you're really regretting it? We've all been there. But you know those REALLY special days when all of that happens but then you take a look at yourself in the mirror and at quick glance you realize, you actually don't look that bad. You were beating yourself up when really, there's a whole lot of potential in that woman staring back at you. All of a sudden, you feel happier and your mood completely changes. The reflection you see was the opposite of how you were feeling and it reverses your mood entirely.
That's how you can control the mirror neuron effect. When stress comes your way in any form, you can respond with an innate sense of calm, and immediately the person causing stress will step back and the situation will dissolve. And if for some reason, they don't, at least you're walking away feeling zen. #winning.